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NCE seen as pandering to the younger audience that horseracing desires, social media and the internet are now respected and used by participants old enough to have millennials as children. Web designer Gwen Davis combined her passion for racing with her marketing expertise when she started making websites for trainers like Eddie Kenneally and Dale Romans. “Trainers weren’t up to date like the rest of the world,” she said, adding that they didn’t adequately represent their business yet are selling their services to owners who are professional, informed businesspeople. “Your internet presence says a lot about you to media, fans, and owners.” After Romans won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding trainer in 2012, he decided that someone from outside racing might have a good idea of how to reach a new fanbase. Davis did more than improve a webpage with stunning photography and celebration graphics – she got fans following

Romans with Race Day Live broadcasts on Periscope, where Romans could provide voice-over to the experience of running a horse in a major race. “He created a narrative, and understood that some people weren’t necessarily going to get all of it, but the engagement was higher,” Davis said. “There are now new fans for Romans Racing, and those new to the sport. It’s about experience, excitement, and giving an emotional vibe. Any trainer who understands the need for an attractive, professional, informative presence is open to creative ways to market and to new ideas.” Davis and Romans gave fans Race Day Live with Keen Ice at the Travers, when that colt defeated American Pharoah, in real time on Periscope, linking to it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, causing a sensation. They repeated

the process for the Breeders’ Cup, giving fans unprecedented access to images and sounds behind the scenes with a top stable. “We’re offering an alternative media product from the establishment,” says Davis. “Not everyone can get their racing coverage by sitting in front of a TV or on the printed page, but just about everyone has a device with them these days.” The Jockey Club agrees and has marketed America’s Best Racing (ABR) as the premier multi-media method for racing fans to simultaneously consume and participate in the sport. However, they aren’t letting the power of television get away. The Jockey Club stepped into the mainstream television picture because no one else, including the onceinterested National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), made it a priority. For years, Winner Communications had bought time on ESPN to create racing shows with passionate and knowledgeable producers and directors. Then ESPN bought the rights to the Breeders’ Cup



North American Trainer - February to April 16 - issue 39  
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